Ad Spending Will Grow, But Will Content Creation?

July 10, 2012By

There is a new report from eMarketer that shows ad spending increasing in a number of industries in the coming years. It’s interesting because the ad spending seems to focus on online ad spending or just spending online in general.

From Marketers Seek New Models to Grow Media and Entertainment:

Online ad spending by the US media and entertainment industries will rise from $2.77 billion in 2012 to $4.34 billion by 2016, according to a new eMarketer report, “The US Media & Entertainment Industries: Digital Ad Spending Forecasts and Key Trends.” “As more consumers turn to the internet for news and entertainment, advertisers are using digital campaigns to raise awareness, generate buzz and encourage online sales.”

This is nothing new. The change to people moving online has been taking place for years. As the next generation moves online for much of their entertainment, news, and other content it makes sense for the ad spending to move online too.

What I would like to point out is that ad spending in the traditional sense has been about advertising that interrupts people. You still recognize these as ads that play before online videos and banner ads on the side of websites. I don’t think this advertising will ever go away. In fact, I think it’s getting better and actually moving to be more of what traditional online content and media is today.

Many companies today are focusing on a different customer acquisition model. The new model is to create educational content and entertainment content that attracts the attention of a targeted audience. The discovery of the content comes through referrals via social channels and even search to a degree still although I think search is becoming less important.

The discovery takes place with blog posts, reports, videos, and other forms of interesting and useful content. It’s created more and more by companies looking to connect with a target audience while earning their trust. The ultimate goal is to earn that trust with people to the point where they make a purchase with the company and profit is made.

The line between ads and content is blurring. I have seen some great ads that are actually more like content in recent months. You’ll see ads that are relevant to the audience. These ads focus on what is interesting to the audience. They aren’t just showboating the company and its products. It’s more about earning the trust of the consumer and building the relationship to the point of a sale.

So while ad spending is set to increase in the online world in the coming years I actually think it’s a blend of ad spending and content creation. The two are becoming more similar and I think that’s a good thing. The earned media and inbound marketing model has been successful in the past and appears to have interest from companies in the future.

What is your company planning to invest in during the coming years?

Are you investing in traditional advertising or are you focusing on building a content platform? Both take investment and effort, but I’ll always lean toward the content channel. It earns trust and really works as an asset for your company. A blog or a video channel is always there earning new discovery and new interest. It’s there forever generation new sales and profit for your company.

Other companies are planning to spend more in the next few years. How will your spending compare?